This past week, the Chick-fil-A Foundation issued a statement saying it had revised its giving priorities. Taken at face value, the meaning of that press release was clear: "Going forward, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will focus its giving toward key organizations that address education, homelessness and hunger."
The practical implications, however, were not clear. What did this mean for groups like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which the Foundation had most recently supported in 2018? Many have wondered why the Salvation Army was left out of this round of giving, particularly given its commitment to the Foundation's stated priorities.
The mainstream media gleefully concluded that Chick-fil-A had succumbed to pressure from LGBTQ advocacy groups and others and declared that the restaurant chain would no longer be awarding grants to "anti-LGBTQ" entities. This is despite the fact that the Chick-fil-A Foundation expressly stated that future grant recipients "could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities."
Based on the media's reporting, a predictable outcry occurred among ministry leaders and outraged Christians around the nation. If Chick-fil-A does intend to discontinue making grants to ministry entities such as the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christians Athletes, it could impact the patronage of millions of customers who have long supported Chick-fil-A's commitment to biblical principles. But is that truly what the fast-food chain meant to convey?
That was the question asked by Rev. Franklin Graham to Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A. Graham then issued the following report:
"I picked up the phone and called Dan Cathy. Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone's demands, including the LGBTQ community. They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven't changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn't going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this."
We are comforted by Dan Cathy's assurance that Chick-fil-A hasn't changed and isn't going to change. But what, then, was intended by the corporate announcement last week? It told readers that a change in policy had occurred. What was it really? JDFI and conservative Christians across the nation are awaiting further clarification.
Dr. James Dobson is a celebrated psychologist, Christian leader, and founder and president of The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute (JDFI), which is dedicated to preserving the biblical institutions of marriage and family by encouraging, inspiring, supporting and leading parents and children to build their lives on God's Word.
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